Steel Notes Magazine November 2016 - Page 40

Steel Notes Magazine INCREDIBLE. After the band made their way over to the section where they would be playing, Mike Merritt recognized me from earlier and smiled at me—I was thrilled. And the rest of the band was so happy to be playing for such an enthusiastic crowd. I was not only blown away by their playing (as usual), I was also extremely impressed with their choices of songs to cover— Van Morrison’s “Domino” and Wilson Pickett’s version of “Land Of 1,000 Dances” were two of my faves they played and I couldn’t have been happier to hear them performed by such a fantastic band. Then it was Andy Richter’s turn to be introduced and the place went even crazier. The show was about to start and Andy had to eventually, hilariously, tell us enthusiastic audience members, “OK, calm down. I have to say words now”. With that, the BCB started playing Conan’s theme song and even though I was sitting right next to the band, I really couldn’t hear them or Andy’s introduction. I was not only cheering and applauding like a wild woman, but the rest of the crowd was too. And then…Conan was there!! Suddenly I was watching the guy who made me laugh and become such an important part of my life over the past 23 years was live and in person directly in front of me. And doing the famous string dance!! It honestly took a minute for my brain to process that my eyes were actually seeing this in person and that I was really and truly there. If you watch the episode, when Conan says at the beginning of the monologue “You’re the only ones still standing. Every other row sat down 45 minutes ago” and points to some people in the crowd, yes, I was one of the ones happily still giving a standing ovation. The monologue was, of course, funny as hell and so were the pre-taped skits. I also want to take a moment to mention here that in seeing all this live, I gained a true sense of just how much *work* it really takes to produce a show like “Conan”. They really try to time it as precisely down to the second as possible and there are plenty more stagehands, camera crew, sound people, lighting crew, prop guys and makeup people around, far more than you would ever notice watching as a home viewer. They all work as a team to run that show like clockwork—it is really something to see in action. Considering that these folks work that hard 3 or 4 nights a week (at least—that doesn’t even include the location shoots which are also a regular part of Conan’s show), but that the writers and editors also work incredibly hard to produce a superb show each time, I have to say I came away with a far deeper appreciation of the hard work and dedication each and every member of Team Coco put in on a daily basis. Though they might not be on screen, they are undoubtedly an integral and important part of what makes “Conan” as awesome and successful as show as it is. Speaking of writers, I couldn’t have been more thrilled that the surprise guest of the night was none other than Deon Cole!! He was one of my fave “Conan” writers and performers for many years and though he left to further pursue his acting and stand-up comedy careers, he returns to the show for hilarious guest appearances. So when Conan announced Deon and he walked onstage, I could not have been happier. I definitely picked the right night to get tickets!! 40 Steel Notes Magazine www.steelnotesmagazine.com November 2016